As I delight – along with many – in the return of the birds from their southern habitations, watching as Hooded Mergansers, Swans, Loons, geese and other winged creatures make their way north, I can’t help but marvel and rejoice in the diversity and wonder of life.
The Bible also marvels at this diversity. There have been many interpretations of the story of Noah’s Ark. And as a Lutheran pastor I have heard many of them. For instance, there is such a thing as sin, and there are consequences for sin…. However, there is one point that is surprisingly overlooked in the Noah’s Ark story. The central affirmation, in story form, is that God cares about absolutely everything! All creatures, great and small, why, God delights in them all. With great care, every creature is led into the Ark, where they are tended to and preserved for the future. The Holy One delights in all the creatures, and wants all of them preserved, and not just Noah and his family.
This beloved story from the book of Genesis is not something that just happened once upon a time. It reveals a truth about God. The God who we profess created all things, also delights in all the creatures! God has not changed his mind about how he delights in them. Therefore, not only people of faith, but all who delight in the natural world also ought to heed God’s delight and work together to preserve the diversity of life. Climate change threatens this diversity. So does over-development, and pollution. May God grant us wisdom to follow in Noah’s footsteps and preserve, cherish, and live in harmony with all God’s creatures. As the song goes: “All God’s critters got a place in the choir.”
Pr. Dan Belgum